In partnership with UCLA, renowned artist and UCLA alumnus, Refik Anadol created a multisensory experience commemorating the beauty of nature and seeking to aid in our collective renewal through the power of art. The installation was unveiled at an evening Moment of Reflection ceremony before being made available to the public, with both early morning and evening hours, over a six-day run.
The digital experience, which had over 5,000 visitors, was placed thoughtfully in UCLA’s five-acre Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, in juxtaposition with the natural landscape surrounding it. To add to the striking effect, UCLA blue uplights were added to the large coral trees lining the path behind the 15’ square screen and firefly-like twinkle lights lined the paths throughout the garden for the inaugural evening.
- Campaign Management
- Creative Direction
- Experience Production
- Social Media
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was on hand to address the crowd for the ceremony designed to allow members of the Bruin community and the public to take stock of the toll of the pandemic, remembering those we’ve lost. Block acknowledged that the pandemic affected everyone differently and encouraged each person to explore the ideas and emotions Anadol’s work provoked, before bringing Anadol up on stage to unveil his work – Machine Simulations: Nature.
Machine Simulations: Nature turns vast photographic datasets of nature into multisensory experiences to commemorate the beauty of the earth we share. Created specifically for UCLA’s Moment of Reflection the data sculpture uses more than 300 million photographs of nature. Anadol and his team collected and interpreted these datasets during the COVID-19 pandemic to promote well-being through a virtual connection to the environment. These massive, publicly available data sets are the foundation of what the AI learns before it can dream of nature from an alternative perspective, or what the artist calls “the mind of a machine.”
In a moment of solidarity, and to close out the ceremony, Anadol asked the audience to open the velvet gift bags that had been distributed to them as they arrived at the event, revealing an individual glowing orb for all attendees to raise into the air, bringing the community together.
There are times when the language of art can speak to us most deeply.
I’m very happy to say that at UCLA ... during these hard days, we find a way, a light, to interact with the challenges in life and create art that hopefully touches our minds and soul.